Low-cost sedimentation deposition of boron nanoparticle films for thermal neutron detection applications

Minho Park, Sergiy Rozhdestvenskyy, Chang Hwy Lim, Bruce Gnade, Manuel Quevedo-Lopez, Donghwan Ahn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stagnating supply of 3He, the essential material used in gas proportional counters for neutron detection, has recently motivated research activity in solid boron thin-film deposition. The isotope 10B can be used to replace 3He as the neutron reactive material that produces charged reactants to enable detection. In our research, we developed a process for depositing boron films via nanoparticle sedimentation out of a suspension solution. The simple process, in comparison to conventional vacuum deposition techniques, is expected to reduce processing cost and maximize material utilization during fabrication of large-area neutron detection systems. The work being reported here details the process for producing the boron film by the sedimentation method and analyzes the physical properties of the resulting films. Also, the neutron conversion efficiency of the film was evaluated, and the performance results compared favorably to a sputtered 10B4C conversion film employed in commercial large-area neutron straw detector systems, suggesting its potential to become an appealing option for use in large-area neutron detectors after further optimization. We also investigated the effect of boron nanoparticle films’ thickness on the neutron conversion efficiency. The optimal film thickness tends to be slightly larger than what is expected for pure B solid film, due to porosity in the film.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113730
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was a part of the project titled "Development of automatic screening and hybrid detection system for hazardous material detecting in port container" financially ( 1525012204 ) supported by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Korea and supported by the Leading Foreign Research Institute Recruitment Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT Future Planning ( MSIP ) ( 2013K1A4A3055679 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Boron film
  • MCNP6
  • Neutron converter
  • Neutron detector
  • PVP binder
  • Sedimentation


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